Dehydration while travelling is very common because of the water you lose when sweating in hot climates, as well as sufficient water not always being available. If you develop diarrhoea while travelling, this will only worsen your dehydration so be sure to prevent symptoms such as headache, tiredness and lightheadedness with our effective hydration products.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a term used to describe the condition where your body uses and loses more fluid than it takes in. Water makes up two-thirds of the human body, which is necessary for healthy digestion, flushing out toxins, keeping the skin healthy and lubricating the joints and eyes.
Our bodies get this necessary level of water from that which we take in, and it loses it mainly through urinating and sweating. When levels of sweat increase (in hot climates, for example), you need to take in more fluid than normal to maintain healthy function in the body.
When we don’t do this, it creates a deficit that upsets our body’s natural balance. The first sign of not being properly hydrated is to feel thirsty (as your body is well equipped at delivering messages to let you know what it needs), but other symptoms include a dry mouth, lack of energy and passing dark-coloured urine (less frequently than normal). If you continue not to hydrate properly then you could feel lightheaded, tired and headachey.
Being dehydrated is not just about water either - it can also lead to a lack of important minerals (like salts and sugars). The severity depends entirely on how much fluid is lost without being replenished, and severe dehydration can make you feel very unwell.
What causes dehydration?
Quite simply, dehydration is caused by not replenishing enough fluids to counteract those that we lose. However, the reason behind this can vary. In hot weather (such as on holiday in warm countries), we lose more water than usual through sweating. Often though, we don’t up our intake of water enough to make up for this and we end up mildly dehydrated. This can also happen if we are doing something active or exertive, as this too will increase the amount of fluid we lose through sweat.
Another reason that dehydration is common when travelling is because traveller’s diarrhoea is another ailment that many suffer with. Persistently vomiting or passing stools can make you lose more water than you realise, and diarrhoea also causes you to lose salts and other minerals too. If you are vomiting, it’s likely that you won’t be able to keep down the water you do drink either, which in turn worsens the dehydration. If the cause of this is an illness (rather than a food intolerance), then you could also experience a high fever, which increases the amount you sweat (and the amount of water you lose).
A further common cause of dehydration is drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol makes you urinate more frequently because it’s a diuretic, and it prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing the maximum amount of water that they can. The symptoms of a hangover (such as headache and dry mouth) are typically caused by dehydration more than anything else.
How can I treat dehydration?
The first line of treatment for dehydration is, of course, to drink plenty of fluid. Try to stick to water as it’s the most effective, but you could have diluted squash or fruit juice if you’d prefer it. Stay away from alcohol, caffeine or fizzy drinks as they can do more to hinder than help. If you’re vomiting and are struggling to keep water down then try to take small, regular sips rather than attempting to drink a large amount in one go.
If your dehydration is moderate then you may need to not only replenish the water you have lost, but also the minerals. Rehydration solutions like the ones we sell at UK Meds, help to restore the salts and sugars that your body needs, and can get you feeling better faster than water alone.
If you are severely dehydrated and attempts at replenishing the fluids have not worked, then you may need to go to your nearest emergency department. Particularly if you are unable to keep water down (from vomiting), then you may need to get fluids intravenously.
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